I had SO much fun doing the Nik Webinar and now it’s posted. I hope it helps many of you to move your photography forward!
I really, really, really do appreciate you all thinking I was smart enough to figure out how these cool “video stills” were created. But I am no where near smart enough. But I’m smart enough to know who could figure out how to create them, my really good friend and Photoshop Wizard Russell Brown! Back when Scott Kelby originally posted the link to these gems, I sent it off to Russell and asked him how there were done. I had an idea but surely didn’t know the steps. In less then a week, Russell not only figured out how to these are made, but produced a video so you can create them yourself! Where’s the video?
Now this is not for the faint of heart, it does take not only some skill but good photographic skills and imagination. I wanna thank my good friend Russell for not only figuring out this process and willing to share it, but for also creating the video teaching the technique. Damn cool!
All 1500 of you, thanks for dropping by and listening to my ranting about finishing. I hope you found at least one nugget that helps you the next time you’re shooting. I mentioned a number of videos on my site, referred to them to give more in depth “recipe” for some of the things I was doing. I thought I would just create a list here for you rather then make you peck through the 160 listed on the Video Library Page.
- NX2 Color Cast Removal
- Moose’s B&W Technique, Nik’s Silver Efex Pro
- Nik’s Tonal Contrast
- Nik’s Dfine
- The Split Grad
- CS5 Stater Basics
- CS5 Content-Aware
- PSKiss Edge Gear
- PSKiss ACR pluggins
- Wacom’s Express Keys
Now the Silver Efex Pro vid is for #1, not #2. The only thing I did at the webinar you won’t see though is use the preset Full Spectrum Harsh & Smooth. And available to everyone is the special below. If you got something out of the webinar, please let the great folks at Nik know since they brought it to you. Now…go out and shoot damn it!
I really hate clocks!!! I’ve written so many times about time and the crunch for time I really feel often working be the camera. In aviation, when those props turn, the HOB turns and that’s money going bye-bye! There is also that weather thing. When you have a small window in the weather, you go now or you don’t go at all. The flight has to be safe, damn the photography! I would love to have the time when I see a shot like this to set up the tripod, pull out the split grad and do it “right.” That wasn’t the case as thunder woke me at 06:30 and all I could say was, “Damn!” I was to be at the field at 08:30 for a 09:00 flight. I called at 07:30 for an update. “Not good, bad weather all around, call back at 08:30.” At 08:30 the phone call was real brief, “Get here now!” So off I drove like a mad man to get to the plane in time to basically get in the T-6 and go. So here’s this photo I saw as I walked furiously to the T-6. No time to do it “right” as I have no tripod or split grad and no time, I have just a body & lens, period!
Then, I got a 5min pause as vehicles are moved away from the plane (I didn’t wait, removed them in PS). The B-25H was backlit and the clouds in the background are to die for so my only “quick fix” for the situation is handheld HDR. This shot is a 2 image HDR and I’m taking all this time to write about it because, well, it’s on the verge of Elvis on Velvet in my book. And, I kinda like it! I’m not sure if I should feel guilty about that or not. I really love the look and feel of the engine/prop. I’m not totally in love with the fuselage but I’m not hating it either. I did this with Nik’s HDR Efex Pro which gives me a ton, ton of options for going “natural” to totally whacked. But here’s the deal, the plane is backlit! Lighting it either with flash or HDR, it’s not where the sun is shinning so anyone who knows light will see, it’s not natural! And when shooting on the run, what are your options…shoot or don’t shoot. For the moment, I like the image but that might change with time. Damn, there’s the time thing, again!
Photo captured by D3x, 24-120VR on Lexar UDMA digital
“What am I teaching next week at Photoshop World ? You can see what and where I’m teaching using the new Photoshop World app for your iPhone/iPad. I have two new classes and I’m counting on you to be there for my Aviation Photography on the 31st at 8:15 and ACR Landscape on the 1st at 8:15 (ouch!). So why would you wanna get up early and come to my classes, just what might your learn?
You point your lens at a bird, rock, boat, car, baseball player or perhaps a plane every now and then? Then you’ll leave this class learning tons. What, it’s not just for aviation photographers? Aviation photographers will dig the subjects in all the photographs the most because all the photos are of planes. But the techniques from metering, panning, background, depth of field, static or moving targets are the same for birds or sports or planes. Once we cover these basics we move on to much more important topics like composition, communicating motion and the most important, romance! Yeah, you can bring romance even to a photo of a plane if you understand the basics and connect it to exposure and run that through your heart. I’m sure you’ve heard that saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” You could say that same thing about my classes. So if you’re into photography and getting the most out of every click, you might just like this class. Wanna take your photography to the next level? I know I’ll give you at least one tip to accomplish that. And if we go for the home run and you have an interest in aviation photography, I might just take you down the path I’ve gone with this exhilarating and exciting photographic pursuit! And if not, you might just find out it’s a pretty cool photographic pursuit. Oh yeah, there will be some finishing tricks as well!
Now what’s this ACR Landscape class all about? Most know how to use ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) since it’s native in Lightroom, Bridge and Photoshop. But how many of you compose your landscape photos using ACR in your mind? I have found many photographers pass by amazing photos because they have not spent enough time playing with our finishing tools to know instinctively how they can make a great photograph from what appears to be zero. Even more important I feel is knowing these tools so they can help you at the point of capture to arrange the elements in the frame so you not only entertain the viewer of your photograph, but grab their heart strings. How am I going to teach this so in an hour, so bloody early in the morning it will not only make sense but you can use it? Well, I’m going to teach it in a totally new way that I think will almost guarantee you’ll learn the concepts, techniques and be able to apply them the next time you go shooting.
I’m teaching and presenting during the entire conference but these are the only two classes where I’ve taken all the step by step notes for you which you’ll find in the massive Photoshop World Workbook. These are also the only two classes that are so bloody early! And if that’s not enough, I have bribery, give aways to get you to my classes! If you see me, say hi, introduce yourself and hopefully I’ll see you in class and have the opportunity to share with you what I’ve been so fortunate to learn behind the camera!
When I first received this latest venture from the folks at PSKiss, when I saw DNG in the name, I simply ignored it. Then one day to be honest with you, I was bored so I thought I would open up the PDF and read what this thing was supposed to do. I’m not so sure about the marketing but I am about what it does. Watch the video, you’ll get the idea real fast.
I don’t know about anybody else, but I simply run out of time to learn every aspect of every software. I always wonder, “Is there a better way to do it?” Thank goodness for Terry White! He’s been cranking out some great info and this latest vid is a great example. The very first thing he demos, I didn’t know was there and worked great the first time I used it. I instantly put it to use. Check it out!
I’ve been printing with the Epson 4900 for three months and wanted to pass along some thoughts. The 3800 is long gone, the 4900 taking over nearly all printing in the office. The only exception is when I have to go to paper bigger then 17×22. I went through about 300 sheets of 17×22 and I have no clue how much 8.5×11 before I had to change my first ink (Lt Blk). It’s speed, quality and ease of use just rocks!
I always have Premium Luster loaded in the paper cassette since that’s what I use to produce the match prints we send to editorial clients. The only think that is slow (and that’s not really slow) is having to change the Black ink from luster to matte paper. I do that alot. The 4900 is not always in a cleaning mode, it’s just ready to go the moment you turn it on.
I’ve been printing on Hot/Cold papers and Premium Luster exclusively with the 4900. I wish I could show you the quality on the web but its meager sRGB color space won’t even show off the dramatic color of this printer. For your basic “clean” images, I like the Hot Press Bright and for “moody” and B&W images I like Cold Press Natural. The one think I don’t like is the manual paper load in the back. You have to shove the paper into the platten and it makes a real thunk when you do it. While I’ve never had any issues, I’m always concerned I’m going to damage the paper before I print. It does have a giant orange light when something is wrong like the paper is askew. I like that visual since I can see it from anywhere in the office. Dealing with paper issues with the 4900 is a snap which is nice as well.
I do realize it costs more then the 3880. I also know that providing folks a 17×22 print makes a huge impression, more so then a 24×30. Why is that? Wall space is hard to come by for the majority of folks and the 24×30 framed is a wall hog. 17×22 though works on most walls and makes a equally large impression. Until I got the 4900, I didn’t even take this into consideration. So my bud Jeff at Adorama will have to keep me in supply of three papers now. And if you wanna give these papers a try, Epson now has a Signature Worthy Sample Pack so you can run your own tests and make up your own mind.
PhotoRescue has resided on my all computers since the first days of the D1. It’s one of the first programs I load on a new computer. I’m never without it. Why? Because there is always the possibility, usually at the worst moment, that images/video have to be rescued off a card. For me that time was when I was in such a bloody hurry, I forget to download a card and went back out shooting with it. This happened once and if it weren’t for PhotoRescue, I would have lost that earlier shoot. It’s now updated to deal with DSLR vid accidents which makes it even more important that you own it!
For many though, PhotoRescue is a must because of bad card habits. The program is only $29 yet I know of very few digitals shooters shooting with their $5000 body who’ve purchased this simple butt-saving program. Typically, they come up to me in a panic because they’ve lost their images and don’t have any solutions to rescue them. Do yourself a big favor, your images deserve it. Download the program right here for either Windows or Mac and try it for yourself. I guarantee that it’s not a matter of if, but of when you’ll use the program.
Download a free trial of PhotoRescue 3.25
I’m just so excited by what was just delivered to me, my new book. AdoramaPix is an amazing resource for photographers! All you have to know to make you own beautiful book is the photographs you want to include. AdoramaPix does the rest making it fun and easy. Wanna see what I did, click here to leaf through the book. I recommend you just layout a book and go for it, great way to share your vision on our world!
PS…damn good service!!!!
I’m always so pleased when one of my favorite images is liked by someone else. I like it even more when they show their pleasure by buying a print. This shot taken on the ramp at Reno one early morning of the F4U Corsair is a very popular print order. The latest order though required a little more, as in 63×42″ more! I had no doubt the information was there in the file to make it happen, the question was, what was the best way to size the file up. Ever since CS3, I’ve relied on Photoshop to res up my files since I rarely go beyond the size of the Epson 7900. This print was going in a hangar and bigger was better. I knew I needed more then CS5 to res it up so instantly thought of Genuine Fractal. And lucky for me, it has been updates and is now Perfect Resize 7 and it rocks!
It’s pretty darn simple. Knowing I was going to print with a Epson 9900 on roll paper, I sized the print to 42″ and Perfect Resize 7 scaled it. Note I have Constrain Proportions only checked. There are a whole bunch of more cool options I didn’t need this time, one of them I want to call your attention to is Canvas Wrap. If you’re into that, this IS THE tool! I played with it just to see it and it’s cool! In the process of sizing up, you can also sharpen the file.
It does an amazing job! Running the Dell m6500 with 64bit & 12GB of memory, it took just under 24min to size up a 465MB file up to 1.92GB. The reason the original file is so large are all the layers. The reason I didn’t flatten it is because Perfect Resize 7 doesn’t require you to flatten and I just wanted to see if it works. And it does! And the final print, the client & I were very pleased with the end result and another order was placed. You can’t ask more from a Photoshop pluggin if you ask me. So if you’re in resize hell or you’re going really big, Perfect Resize 7 is the ticket!
In between all the writing I’m laying down we’ve been busy printing with the new Epson 4900. Besides Jake catching the printing bug, the 4900 has been printing a lot of tests. I’ve not done much with the “new” line (about a year old) Cold Press and Hot Press papers. I originally go them because for a while, my favorite paper, UltraSmooth Fine Art was not available. I got the new papers when my supply of USMA was about to run out. Then USMA came back and I never thoroughly tested the new papers. So I tool the opportunity of a new printer just to do a thorough test. The image above is the image I’ve been testing with because of its whites, blacks, yellow and blue (and I really love the image). After printing this image, a number of landscapes and B&W on all four papers (Hot Press Natural, Hot Press Bright, Cold Press Natural and Cold Press Bright) I’ve found I have a favorite. For “clean” images like the one above, I like the Hot Press Bright and for “moody” and B&W images I like Cold Press Natural. So my bud Jeff at Adorama will have to keep me in supply of three papers now. And if you wanta give these papers a try, Epson now has a Signature Worthy Sample Pack so you can run your own tests and make up your own mind.
Holly Cow, this is a gorgeous printer! Since my quick mention of it last week, I’ve received a whole lot of inquiries in regards to the new Epson 4900 and rightly so. My reason for wanting this printer is faster printing speed with the quality of the Epson 7900 but able to sheet feed to create the match prints needed for submissions and the smaller fine art print. I can honestly say it exceeds my expectations (and blows away the 3880). The heart of this is the new ink and ink set. Espon describes it as
Epson UltraChrome HDR represents the latest generation of pigment ink technology. Now utilizing ten colors – including an all-new Orange and Green – Epson UltraChrome HDR Ink produces the widest color gamut ever from an Epson Stylus Pro printer. Even more remarkable, when combined with our new Epson AccuPhoto™ HDR screening technology, Epson has once again raised the level of print quality, while setting a new benchmark standard for photographic reproduction.
Our advanced Epson MicroPiezo TFP print head is capable of producing higher quality prints, at speeds up to twice as fast as our previous generation. And, with our latest ink-repelling coating and auto nozzle verification technologies, clogged nozzles are virtually eliminated.
I’ve been printing on UltraSmooth Fine Art and Premium Luster so far but have a bunch of Cold Press ready to go for my next round of testing. I wish I could show you the quality on the web but its meager sRGB color space won’t even show off the dramatic color of this printer. It comes with a decent supply of ink to get you started but I would recommend when you order the printer, order a set of inks because the 4900 makes printing so easy and so much fun, you’ll not be able to stop. Order your 4900, ink and paper from Jeff at Adorama, he’ll take really good care of you!
It’s all there now…go get it!
Yeah baby, it’s out! Nik’s HDR Pro is now available for purchase or download. I don’t have much to add other then it’s just darn cool. Below is the main UI and the original and above the finished image. Have fun, that’s what great products and photography is all about!
OK, I’ve been using it for some time but now you can too work in 64bit with Silver Efex Pro! and that’s BIG NEWS! All the B&W on the site for the last couple of months (unless there is a ACR reference) have been finished using my FAVORITE B&W pluggin, Silver Efex Pro. The video how to use it is on the home page. Don’t read this any further, go, get it, finish images, enjoy the world of B&W!